Autumn Authors | My monthly must reads

Pregnancy is strange. The symptoms come in all shapes and sizes and I don't just mean sore breasts and morning sickness. I first noticed my aversion to random things the day I woke up and didn't turn the radio on. I always tune in to something while I prepare my morning cuppa but for some reason, that morning the thought of listening to someone prattle on about the world made me angry. Then came my evening bath. I would often spend hours creating the perfect playlists on my Spotify account. Playlists for all occasions. Just in case I needed inspiration, wise words of wisdom or just a mad five minutes. For the first time in my life I hated music, the radio turned my stomach and my bedtime book - which had been part of my daily ritual since I was a child - no longer interested me.

What was happening to me? I had heard of aversions to smells or certain foods but this was strange. The daily doing I lived for were suddenly a thing of the past.

After months of morning sickness, on the morning I felt my first kicks, I reached for the radio. It was like someone had flicked a switch. And there I was, stood in my kitchen with my morning brew in hand enjoying that morning prattle once again. The aversion had gone.

I quickly headed up to my office. I logged onto Amazon and ordered the books that had been sitting in my basket for months - I even paid for super quick delivery. I felt alive and inspired for the first time in months and then I noticed I no longer felt sick.

Ian McEwan | The Children Act - "Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis.

At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both."

I have been a fan of Ian McEwan ever since I was handed his novel Saturday by my English Literature teacher at college. I stately fell in love with his style. So informative and detailed.

Russell Brand | Revolution - "We all know the system isn't working. Our governments are corrupt and the opposing parties pointlessly similar. Our culture is filled with vacuity and pap, and we are told there's nothing we can do - "it's just the way things are".

In this book, Russell Brand hilariously lacerates the straw men and paper tigers of our conformist times and presents, with the help of experts as diverse as Thomas Piketty and George Orwell, a vision for a fairer, sexier society that's fun and inclusive.

You have been lied to, told there's no alternative, no choice and that you don't deserve any better. Brand destroys this illusory facade as amusingly and deftly as he annihilates Morning Joe anchors, Fox News fascists and BBC stalwarts.

This book makes revolution not only possible, but inevitable and fun."

You can't switch on a TV or the radio or even read the newspaper without Russell Brand popping up somewhere right now. He is a talking point for many and this book has been well publicised. His witty ramblings sometime make me feel stupid, I often found it difficult to read but the good intention was there from the beginning. It takes a bit of getting used to but this book is a real eye opener.

Roxane Gay | Bad Feminist - "In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of colour (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny and sincere look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better."

After seeing Dawn O'Porter Instagram this book, I knew I would love it. It was a delightful insight on how we develop as a woman and how deceptive the word 'feminist' actually is. 

Laurie Rose 

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